Friday, August 3, 2012

Maia a Star in the Pleiades Cluster

Maia in Pleiades
5 min unguided exposure
© Billy Vazquez
The Pleiades Cluster also known as the Seven Sisters will always make one of the favorite astronomers stops.   Why you say? Well is bright, can be seen with the naked eye and it harbors these beautiful Blue B stars.   More importantly, there is interstellar dust that reflects the light of this enormous stars, making it look nebula like.   Well not everything is forever and astronomers have determined that in about 250 million years this cluster will be stripped away of its stars by gravitational forces.   The image I show you today is one of the many tests I am performing on my renovated observatory.  Maia one of the Pleiades stars is smacked in the middle ( more or less a bit southeast ). A 5 minute raw unguided exposure, on a full moon night, which is why you can barely see any nebulosity. Still a very nice image, with full width half maximum of 2.1 arc seconds.

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